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Rab Muztag GTX Review

An adjustable, lightweight full-length gaiter for sloppy mud, rain, and winter snow
Rab Muztag GTX
Photo: Rab
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $80 List | $79.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, lightweight for the size, replaceable instep, excellent protection
Cons:  Thinner material for a full length, challenging lace hook
Manufacturer:   Rab Equipment
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 9, 2021
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 10
  • Comfort and Breathability - 25% 7
  • Debris Protection - 25% 9
  • Durability - 15% 6
  • Ease of Attachment - 15% 6
  • Water Resistance - 10% 8
  • Weight - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Rab Muztag GTX is one of our favorite gaiters for heavy-duty use. It is fully waterproof and easily adjustable. The instep strap is durable and replaceable. This model is as comfortable as full-length gaiters come, which is at least partly attributable to their low weight. They are great for winter hiking, snowshoeing, or deep spring slop. As with other full gaiters, they can be somewhat challenging to attach, but once they are on, they keep all kinds of snow, mud, and runoff at bay. They provide excellent warmth as well and we would take these with us on any cold-weather adventure where gaiters are needed.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Rab Muztag GTX
This Product
Rab Muztag GTX
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $79.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$44.95 at REICheck Price at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$20.00 List$19.95 at REI
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Pros Comfortable, lightweight for the size, replaceable instep, excellent protectionDurable, secure, waterproofEasy on and off, instep cord is replaceableLightweight, secure, inexpensiveSuper lightweight, easy to attach, flexible
Cons Thinner material for a full length, challenging lace hookHeavy for length, chunky-lookingNot versatile, instep cord wears quicklyNot waterproof, requires velcro installation on shoesNot waterproof, requires velcro on shoes
Bottom Line An adjustable, lightweight full-length gaiter for sloppy mud, rain, and winter snowA pair of mid-length rugged gaiters with the versatility for multiple seasonsA simple, old school gaiter that is easy to put on and take offA lightweight and comfortable pair of gaiters that are meant for the long haulAn ultralight pair of gaiters that are made for trail running and UL backpacking
Rating Categories Rab Muztag GTX REI Co-op Backpacke... Black Diamond Talus Dirty Girl Gaiter Altra Trail Gaiter
Comfort And Breathability (25%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
9.0
9.0
Debris Protection (25%)
9.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
4.0
Durability (15%)
6.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
3.0
Ease Of Attachment (15%)
6.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Water Resistance (10%)
8.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
3.0
Weight (10%)
6.0
6.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
Specs Rab Muztag GTX REI Co-op Backpacke... Black Diamond Talus Dirty Girl Gaiter Altra Trail Gaiter
Weight for one (oz) 3.8 oz 3.5 oz 1.8 oz 0.7 oz 0.5 oz
Length (in) 16.5 in 10.0 in 7.0 in 7.0 in 6.50 in
Material 300D nylon, PU coating Nylon Soft Shell/Hard Shell Polyester Nylon
Water resistant? Gore-Tex Pro 3-layer waterproof/breathable fabric No No No
Attachment TPU underfoot strap Hook and loop, instep strap Nylon cord instep strap, lace hook, velcro, snap Hook and loop, velcro heel Hook and loop, velcro heel

Our Analysis and Test Results

These gaiters manage to provide top-tier protection while also remaining light and comfortable. With 16.5 inches of coverage, they are great for deep snow and wet brush.

Performance Comparison


These knee-high gaiters are great for travel in the snow.
These knee-high gaiters are great for travel in the snow.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Comfort & Breathability


One of the most redeeming characteristics of these gaiters is their comfort. Relative to other full-length models, the elastic cord at the top is comparatively innocuous. We won't go so far as to say we stop noticing them altogether, but they are definitely less restrictive than many of their closest competitors. In fact, as far as technical alpine gaiters go, these are tops on our list.


We also found that the cut of the fabric is such that they offer enough room to move without feeling baggy or falling down. We appreciate that the top interior opening has rubberized elastic that grips onto pants and helps the gaiters stay up over the course of the day. As for breathability, this model is meant more for protection, so the Gore-Tex isn't exceptionally airy, but on the plus side, they are warm. We noticed a significant difference between wearing them versus just wearing pants in freezing temperatures.

The elastic drawcord on the upper closure is highly adjustable and...
The elastic drawcord on the upper closure is highly adjustable and less noticeable and distracting than a typical webbing-and-buckle set-up.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Debris Protection


Even for full-length gaiters, these are long and offer a lot of coverage. At 16.5 inches, they sit a few inches below the knee. Tromping through a foot of snow was no problem for these gaiters and the mud that comes with winter melt was no match for them either. Though they are on the hot side for regular springtime wear, they did great with dewy tall grass and thorns.


The top cinch cord is tight enough that they easily repel most anything that might try to find its way through the top. This particular feature is also designed such that you can tighten and loosen it with one hand, even with gloves on. As discussed below, the reinforced lower half also provides extra protection. The lower portion wraps tightly around hiking or winter boots, so we never managed to get any sticks wedged underneath.

Snow will cake up and melt on your boots long before any of it makes...
Snow will cake up and melt on your boots long before any of it makes its way into these gaiters.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Durability


The Muztag GTX strikes a nice balance between its low weight and its durability. The upper portion is comparatively thin Gore-Tex, while the lower is a much heftier 300D nylon that is reinforced on the inside as well. This helps prevent spearing yourself with a crampon or microspike, and also offers increased protection from the typical abrasions that gaiters take from rocks and thorns.


The instep strap is wide but flat, which means it lies flush with the boot arch and is more protected from abrasion. In addition, the fibers that provide the strap's structural integrity are coated in plastic, which creates an extra layer of durability. This particular design eliminates the possibility of the adjustment buckle from breaking, since, you know, there isn't one.

The coated instep strap is extra wide and has a low profile, which...
The coated instep strap is extra wide and has a low profile, which protects it from wear and tear.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

One minor concern that we have is the dangling elastic cinch-cord. It is easy to tuck into the top of the gaiter, but it also doesn't have a specific place to live. We didn't have any issues during testing but we did note the possibility that it could snag on something.

Ease of Attachment


We like a few things about this model's design and one or two that we wish were more user-friendly. This pair has all of the standard components of a full-length gaiter: an instep strap, lace hook, velcro up the front, snap closure, and an elastic drawcord at the top. The instep strap attaches with adjustable velcro, which is a novel feature that we haven't come across in other top contenders. Incidentally, this also makes it removable so if you need to replace it, it is at least theoretically possible. Understandably, the velcro is on the inside, so it is not especially practical to adjust the gaiter once it is on your boot so there is definitely a little guess-and-check required the first time you put them on.


The underhand lace hook is broad with a narrow opening. This makes it especially secure once you slide it in place, however, we found that it is more difficult to use than it needs to be, especially with cold and/or gloved fingers (it is also challenging to unhook it at the end of the day as well). On the plus side though, both the velcro that runs up the front as well as the elastic cord at the top are as easy as they come, especially the former, which we found to be frustration-free when it came to lining up both sides of the velcro (which is often not the case with full-length gaiters).

The underhand lace hook is super secure once it is attached but is...
The underhand lace hook is super secure once it is attached but is challenging to hook it in the first place.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Water Resistance


Similar to their debris performance, their water resistance is excellent. They are primarily made of 30D Gore-Tex, which is essentially like a rain jacket for your legs. As long as your boots are waterproof as well, moving through shin-high streams is no problem.


Depending on the type of pants you are wearing, heavy rain might find its way down through the top to some degree. Pants with a little more stretch and flexibility fill the very small gaps between the gaiter and a leg slightly better, but by and large, our socks and feet remained well-protected and dry no matter the weather. Similarly, because they are thin and waterproof, these gaiters dry much faster than the typical full-length pair as well.

Water beads well, especially on the reinforced portion of the lower...
Water beads well, especially on the reinforced portion of the lower panel.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Weight


Despite being a full-length gaiter, they are only marginally heavier than many mid-size models and, at 3.5 ounces each, are one of the lightest fulls that we have tested. We appreciate the attention to bulk reduction.


Though we wouldn't bring them with us unless we knew that high gaiters were going to be necessary, if they are an essential piece of equipment for the conditions, they certainly don't add an appreciable amount of weight, whether you are wearing them or carrying them in your pack.

The Gore-Tex material that makes up the bulk of these gaiters feels...
The Gore-Tex material that makes up the bulk of these gaiters feels like what you would expect to find on a lightweight rain jacket.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Value


Dry feet are worth a lot in the outdoors, and we think these gaiters deliver. They carry good value because of their weatherproof performance. Though they aren't the heftiest full-length gaiters we have seen, we do not doubt that they will last for years of winter adventuring. You get more than what you pay for with this model and we would go back and purchase them again.

Conclusion


The Rab Muztag GTX is one of our favorites for almost any cold-weather condition. From deep snow to freezing rain or the messy thaw of spring, this is the gaiter that will keep you comfortable and protected.

Comfortable, lightweight, and sturdy, these gaiters are made for the...
Comfortable, lightweight, and sturdy, these gaiters are made for the cold.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Ben Applebaum-Bauch